Bert’s first visit to Iligh

At the end of 2014 Bert is in Amsterdam planning the itinerary for the next group she’ll be taking to Morocco. She writes: ‘I’m looking for interesting places to visit between Tafroute and Agadir. The name Tazerwalt pops up and on a photo on the internet I see for the first time the thrilling architecture of the stronghold of Iligh. There are also references of more Jews that move from Ifrane this time to Iligh. Surprise, surprise: in connection with Iligh the name of a seventeenth century Dutch admiral of the fleet Michiel De Ruyter is mentioned in a book about Morocco in Dutch I’ve just bought written by De Mas and Obdeijn. According to them Iligh is in that same century destroyed with the loss of everything. Obviously a new Iligh has arisen because when I visit Iligh in March 2015 the stronghold is there. Nobody home. It is Friday afternoon. Everything seems asleep. A village woman whom I speak to mentioned a name in connection with the stronghold: Aboudmiaa. Apparently he is not here but in Tiznit. In the Summer of 2015 I discover articles about the region Iligh is in: Tazerwalt or Tazeroualt. A second name pops up Paul Pascon a Moroccon researcher. He has written a book called ‘Maison D’Iligh’. But I can’t find the book anywhere. But ‘Maison d’Iligh’ does have a Facebook page. I contact the name attached: Aicha Aboudmiaa. We set a date to meet during my next trip with a group. But when we arrive the door stays closed. Eventually I meet Aicha in the Oases Tulip Hotel in Agadir.’

© Peti Buchel